Why your level of enthusiasm will make or break your content marketing With content and email marketing, so many of us miss the forest for the trees. You can write a newsletter and update a blog regularly but still completely miss the point of content marketing. Think back to when you were a kid in school...
Why your level of enthusiasm will make or break your content marketing.
With content and email marketing, so many of us miss the forest for the trees. You can write a newsletter and update a blog regularly but still completely miss the point of content marketing.
Think back to when you were a kid in school. Which teachers had the biggest impact upon you? I bet you’d choose the ones who were most excited to share knowledge with you. My high school physics and calculus teachers shaped who I would become. They instilled in me an appreciation for science and math which remains today.
Great content marketers do the same for their audiences.
I want to teach you what passionate content marketing looks like and why it’s so powerful. Here’s a short story about me visiting a swanky coffee shop and about the fanatical coffee roaster I met there.
After the story, I’ll share 3 ways of emulating this roaster’s approach to selling coffee that will make your content marketing more effective.
Corvus Coffee is a little roaster in Denver, CO. At the time of my visit, they didn’t have distribution—if you wanted to try their coffee, you had to visit the shop (which is also where they roast). Clearly, at the time their business model relied upon a fantastic experience at their coffee shop.
The first time I bought beans at Corvus, the barista followed me around, asking questions. “What kind of coffee do you like? How do you brew your coffee? I can help you pick a type of bean that fits both your preferences and your brew method. What kind of coffee do you drink now?”
At the time, I was a bit annoyed (it was early and pre-caffeine!), but it was hard to stay grouchy because the guy was just so excited to tell me about his coffee. So, I ended up sharing that I had an aeropress, but couldn’t seem to get a decent cup from it. He grabbed a bag of coffee beans from the shelf and told me why he thought I’d like it. I expected he would herd me toward the register, but what he did next was a complete surprise.
He put the bag of beans back on the shelf, and offered to teach me to brew those very beans with an aeropress. He explained every step, gave me a sample of the grinds so I could match the grind size at home, and let me take photos on my phone. He even had me write down the measurements of beans, water, and temperature he used.
And then, he gave me the cup of coffee for free!
There’s a lot of high talk and pretense around coffee. I’ve been to a million boutique, high-priced, trendy coffee shops. But never once at any of these places have I gotten a lesson on how to properly brew coffee myself at home, and much less have I ever gotten a cup of this so-expensive-it-must-be-brewed-with-baby-tears stuff for free.
On my way out, the excitable barista casually mentioned that he’s actually the roaster. That’s right—the owner himself brews the coffee and then spends time talking to the people who drink his coffee. He steps away from his magical coffee roasting workshop and reduces himself to working the register.
I ended up buying a $16 bag of coffee, which is about double what I usually pay for a bigger bag. I took it home, and guess what? I managed to brew a great cup of coffee with my aeropress all by my clumsy self—for the first time.
Now, here’s why your content marketing should imitate this humble coffee roaster’s free brewing lesson:
When I entered the shop, I had given up on the idea of brewing coffee well. I just wanted to buy some fresh beans and go back home to an average cup of joe.
But this crazy coffee roaster wouldn’t let me—his enthusiasm about coffee was contagious. The guy followed me around the shop asking about my taste in coffee as if it was the most important question he’d ever asked. He wasn’t just confident in his product, but he convinced me that I could make great coffee too.
In the startup and products communities, we say that great products sell a new version of the future. The part we leave out is that:
Your enthusiasm will convince people the future you are selling is possible.
Your customers have probably seen other products like yours. They’ve read articles about similar topics.
Educating the customer isn’t enough—everyone does that. You and your enthusiasm are what make all the difference. At the end of the day, people will remember your personality more than your product. The best content marketing speaks to the reader’s values and gets them excited!
When so many baristas are fashionably (and tragically) apathetic, this coffee roaster cares. That made my visit a completely different experience from any other coffee shop I’ve been to.
Of course, he could have stayed in the back room, exercising his craft, roasting coffee beans to earthy perfection.
But if he hadn’t stepped out from behind the curtain and asked about his customer’s problem, he never would have known that the customer about to buy his product didn’t know how to get the best value out of it.
If you don’t ask, you won’t know what to teach.
Further, by asking, he learned exactly what he needed to teach me. He didn’t assume I wanted to learn to brew coffee on, say, a chemex. If he had assumed he knew what to teach, he wouldn’t have been nearly so helpful.
Content marketing needs to be closely tied to the customer’s needs. If it isn’t useful in solving a real problem that your customer actually has, it’s not going to drive sales.
I could buy coffee beans from any number of places. But that doesn’t solve my problem. The person who taught me to brew great coffee on an aeropress won my business.
When that gentleman placed the bag of coffee back on the shelf and offered to teach me, I was shocked. In doing this, he was putting my interests ahead of his own. He delayed a potential sale to help solve my problem.
Smart marketers invest in customer success.
During the brewing tutorial, he taught like an expert, not a salesperson. He didn’t keep hinting at how he wanted me to buy his product—he just focused on the the lesson.
I came to trust his advice because he proved how knowledgeable and skilled he was. Clearly, someone so excited about coffee wouldn’t sell an inferior bag of beans. And the preview he showed me of the results I could get—the free cup of coffee—sealed the deal.
Content marketing should show off your expertise, and thus your product’s value. It should prove how the customer can be successful.
The guy roasting the beans at Corvus is enthusiastic, empathetic, and an expert. He doesn’t just make coffee, he lives it. he wants others to love it as much as he does.
The average barista can (usually) make you a decent cup of coffee, and they don’t usually really care what happens after they ring you up.
Who would you rather buy a $16 bag of coffee beans from?
Design's Iron Fist is a collection of essays with advice for both design learners and professional designers. It's been featured as one of the best free design books by the Creative Bloq and the AIGA.
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